Paul Schulze Talks 'Nurse Jackie' Season 2 Finale, Teenage Edie Falco

In the last few weeks, TV critics have been a glow, gushing about the Edie Falco-fronted Showtime series, “Nurse Jackie,” which wraps up its rather tremendous Season 2 run on Monday.

It’s not just TV critics either that are addicted. Stars like Jillian Michaels have found themselves drawn to the dark show about a pill popping nurse/mother/wife/adulterer and major secret keeper, who can’t help herself from playing with fire.

“ok… enough about Losing It for a second,” Jillian Tweeted on Wednesday, referring her own NBC show. “Let’s talk about the fact that I JUST discovered Nurse Jackie. I LOVE THIS SHOW! So good.”

While Edie is the show’s heart, pumping its drama is a thickly rich cast of characters.

One of the engaging pieces of Jackie’s unraveling Season 2 life has been her relationship with boyfriend Eddie the pharmacist, played by Paul Schulze, a real gem in the role. While Jackie’s secrets have been quietly leaking all season, Eddie’s train has been speeding toward total disaster. He’s been gripping the hinges of his life, while doing a host of unhinged acts (like starting a bromance with Jackie’s husband Kevin) after finding out his girlfriend is actually a married mom of two. His problem? He too is an addict whose drug of choice is Jackie.

“Exactly! That’s his thing. I’m not giving her up and I’m certainly not giving her up on her terms… I can’t. I need her; I love her; I want her, however, I can’t have her and so that is his sort of addiction,” Paul told AccessHollywood.com. “I remember [earlier this season], he goes to their house, he plays with their kids… I even said to Edie, ‘Damn! Homeboy’s starting to do things I would never do,’ and Edie’s like, ‘Well isn’t that fun? How fun is it being a character who does things you would do.’ And I’m like, ‘You’re the bomb!’ She’s so smart and good.”

The closer Eddie and Kevin (Dominic Fumusa) get as the season finale approaches, the more trouble is on the tracks for Jackie Peyton.

“Eddie, he cares for Kevin,” Paul explained of his character’s newly acquired fondness for his love rival. “He sees him not as the flesh and blood reality of Jackie’s deception. He sees him as just a guy now. And he’s not only a guy, he’s a good guy…Yeah, it’s getting really tricky.”

While mum is the word for Season 2’s dramatic conclusion, Paul opened up about his own memories with Edie, who he’s known since the two were 19 years old, attending Purchase College in Westchester.

“My first memory of meeting Edie was walking up to her on the mall at Purchase on these brown bricks that are everywhere, having seen her in a play and wanting to say to her how amazing I thought she was,” Paul recounted fondly of his nearly life-long pal. “Edie was forever playing the old lady or the witch or some kind of like, peripheral character and she was always blowing everybody away with her courage and her ability, so I remembered going up to her saying, ‘I just wanted to tell you, you were fantastic!’”

Apparently, however, that wasn’t exactly how it went down – something Edie schooled her college chum on later in life.

“She said that’s not the first time we met. The first time we met was in a laundry room in the dorms and I was loaded and I asked her if she wanted a massage,” Paul said. “She said she was more afraid to say no than to actually be touched and so I was massaging her and I have no memory of it at all.”

Before their Showtime trysts in “Nurse Jackie,” the two chums engaged in plenty of work-related romance over the years — on stage, in indie films and famously on “The Sopranos” – Paul played Father Phil Intintola, who for a time, titillated the dreams and living room of Edie’s Carmella Soprano. And when asked if, in their youth, if he had a crush on Edie, Paul affirmed Access’ hunch.

“I have never not had a crush on her,” he laughed.

The Season 2 finale of “Nurse Jackie” airs on Showtime on Monday night at 10 PM.

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